Kyoshitsu Shoraku Raku Ame-yu Futaoki

Potter: Kyoshitsu Sasaki, 4th generation

Approximate size: W 2.1″ by H 2.1″ or 5.3 by 5.3 cm

This futaoki or lid rest was made by the current master of the Shoraku kiln in Kyoto, the 4th Kyoshitsu Sasaki (1964-). This lineage began with the great-grandfather of Kyoshitsu Sasaki who established a kiln near the famous Kiyomizu temple, nestled at the foot of the eastern mountains in Kyoto. In 1945 the kiln was moved to Kameoka near the Yada shrine where it remains until today. More on the history of the kiln’s below.

Strongly shaped by means of carving the cylinder shape and glazed with an amber coloured glaze called Ame-yu. This glaze is the characteristic feature of Ohi ware, which can be considered a branch of the Raku mainline. When the founder of the urasenke style of tea ceremony, Sen-so Soshitsu was invited to Kanazawa as the lord of the tea ceremony for the Kaga Clan in 1666, the first Chozaemon came with him and established a kiln in Kanazawa. The first Chozaemon is said to have been the best student of the 4th head of the Raku line, Ichinyu Kichizaemon. Upon finding high quality suitable clay in Ohi Village he build his kiln there kiln and took the name Ohi from the village. Wakigama is the term separating Raku ware made by kilns that are not a part of the direct Kichizaemon mainline found in Kyoto, but that do have roots stemming from one of the mainline masters, such as Chozaemon Ohi.

Futaoki are an integral item as this is where the lid of a chagama, tea-kettle is placed during some of the steps of all types of formal Chanoyu. At times the lid of a mizusashi or fresh water pot is also placed on the futaoki. The mizusashi is used to continuously add new water kettle or chagama whenever water is taken out, making sure it never goes empty while on the hearth and while the ceremony is ongoing.

A tradition dating from the mid-16th century, Raku tea-bowls are made by hand, without the use of a potter’s wheel; giving them a distinctly human feel. In the process of shaping the bowls, potters handle the tea bowls in much the same manner that users will hold them as they drink from them. In this way, we can imagine a connection is formed between the creator of the tea bowl and the participants in the tea ceremony. For this and other reasons stemming from historical circumstances, Raku bowls are considered a favorite of tea practitioners across Japan.

The Shoraku kiln was founded in 1905, by a nishiki-e (a type of woodblock print), painter from Kyoto named Kichinosuke Sasaki. The Kiyomizu Temple is part of the Daitokuji Temple group and played an important part in the success of this kiln. This was largely due to the support and guidance of Gotō Zuigan, who was a Buddhist monk and Rinzai Zen Master and the chief abbot of the temple group (Myōshin-ji and the Daitoku-ji temples), at this point in time. The monk who he succeeded was former head master Oda Sesshou and together they helped Kichinosuke Sasaki. The kiln became the new official kiln of the temple complex and worked to revive the former pottery that was made on temple grounds years earlier, which was called Murasakino yaki. Work was discontinued and seized activity completely in 1818. The pottery was named after the Murasakino Temple that originally housed the kiln. Later Kichinosuke Sasaki was bestowed the title of ‘Narumo-ken’ for the part he and the kiln played to the restoration of the temple group and revival of their lost pottery.

The futaoki is stamped with the potter’s seal and condition is mind. No chips or cracks. Comes with the original quality paulownia tomobako, storage box with kiln stamp and calligraphy on the lid and an additional pamphlet with information on the potter.

€175 + shipping cost